Green juices and smoothies are everywhere! Here in NYC there's a juice bar on almost every corner, and you can even get smoothies at some bodegas (corner stores that sell traditional junk food and beer). But should you be drinking juices or smoothies? Which is healthier, and why? Check out our summary below.
Smoothies are made using a blender. The whole fruit and/or veggie is turned into an easily digestible liquid puree. In order to turn the fruit and/or veggie into a smoothie, some sort of liquid or juicy fruit must be added.
The benefit of smoothies is that the fiber from the ingredients is maintained. Smoothies can often be enjoyed as a solid meal replacement when there are enough calories. A great meal replacing smoothie might have: greens, fresh fruit, frozen fruit, non-dairy milk, seeds/nuts or nut butter, and even oats.
When drinking a smoothie, make sure you drink slowly and savor each sip––just like eating.
Juices are made using a juicer that will extract the fiber from the plant and squeeze only the liquid (which is full of nutrients) out. This way of processing fruits/veggies makes a thin beverage that should not be used as a meal replacer because there are usually too few calories, and no protein or fiber.
We recommend drinking green juice with little or no added fruit. Why? Though fruit juice is still high in phytonutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants, it is also high in sugar and devoid of fiber (which helps regulate blood sugar levels). It's a better idea to eat the fruit in its whole form, or in a smoothie. Greens however, have very little (if any) sugar. Juicing them helps to unleash their nutrients which are otherwise locked up within the cell walls of the plant (same effect in smoothies, and proper chewing).
Which is better?
They're both fine, actually. On our meal plans you may see "green smoothie" as a recommended breakfast. Again, they make a suitable replacement of a solid meal. Since green juices are much lower in calories and fiber, we do not recommend them as a meal replacement, but rather as a snack or as part of a healthy meal. Both green smoothies and juices provide our bodies with important nutrients, and help keep us healthy and energized. It is also important to note that you do not need to drink either to be healthy. Consume plenty of fruits, vegetables, and other whole plant-based foods and you will thrive :)
Jenné & Isabelle
We're both passionate vegan foodies with backgrounds in nutrition. We decided to bridge our skills to create Buddhalicious; a program that guides members to find balance, excitement, and flavor on their plates, and in their lives.